Would Romeo have fallen for Juliet if he cycled and she walked?
This is a question that has plagued many of the cycling professors of English throughout the ages – along with other such important queries like would Romeo have pedalled a fixie, a bmx, racer &c &c?; would he have worn hose or tweed? Or would he have run red lights?
However, back to the question at hand, it is my firm belief that this question has been approached entirely from the wrong direction. Romeo’s affections clearly flitted from lady to lady like a hummingbird…we first greet him wrapped in sorrow at his rejection from fair Rosaline, only to fall head over heels at the next bit of tail to show interest in him, namely the maiden Juliet. No, we need not doubt whether Romeo would have fallen for Juliet if he pedalled and she walked, for he is as randy as an eloquent goat – rather would Juliet as a pedestrian have fallen for Romeo the cyclist?
This is a tough question to answer, and one that continues to plague the cycling fraternity (and sorority) when they try to branch out from their wheeled kith and kin.
Why would this be? Now some might claim it is due to the vast constraints the bicycle might have on the potential other half’s time. Others might suggest the sweaty nature of the cyclist might impinge upon delicate nostrils, while a majority would argue that no sane person would be tempted by a partner who dresses head to toe in lycra – and with fancy ass specs too (yes, you know who you are).
Such people would be wrong though.
It is the jealousy of the steel steed that will come between any star struck lovers – the fear of the wheels that its master or mistress may desert it for taking alternative means of transport brings out the disruptive spirit. This can happen in a number of ways, usually among the more benign bicycles these are aimed at the owner: punctures when running late for a date, a chain slipping causing stained hands or vestments, wearing at the seat of trousers to cause an embarrassing split in public – the potential for misadventure is great. Some wheels are just plain vindictive though, with a paranoia verging on psychotic. I have witnessed my steed seek to attack potential dates or ladies it is wary of – jabbing its horns at soft sides, trying to catch dresses and scarves (usually white) in his chain and consistently seeking to impose himself between self and lady like a moveable wall of bars.
Now this is a mighty obstacle to overcome. One which can usually only be beaten should your Juliet take up a bicycle themselves. This way they will grow a greater understanding of the fickle nature of the machine. It also gives your bicycle a companion to nestle up with while you trot along to the pub, cinema, bed &c which will please them ever so much, in fact, they will inevitably not wish to be parted once put together as evidenced by the way pedals will interlock and seek to stick in each other’s spokes. Bless…
Now if Juliet does not wish to ride…then there will be a problem…and inevitably your wheels will be right in their fear of abandonment as you find yourself increasingly taking the bus or tube (if London bound) so as not to separate your journeys. It’s difficult I know…but there are only three solutions if you wish to continue motoring under your own steam:
- Buy a Brompton
- Buy a tricycle with space to deposit the Juliet in / get a tandem and be resigned to the fact that you will not have a willing stoker
- Find a new Juliet, ideally one that rides
So in conclusion and response to the initial question, Juliet would have told Romeo to bog off, but that would have made a rubbish play.